Monday, March 14, 2011
The Princes in the Tower
One of history's mysteries that has always fascinated and troubled me is the one involving the so-called "Princes in the Tower," otherwise known as King Edward V and his younger brother, Prince Richard. Edward was the heir to the throne of England and briefly became king after the passing of his father, Edward IV.
Then "fate" intervened in the form of young Edward's uncle Richard. Richard usurped the throne and became Richard III, with the young king and his brother disappearing sometime in 1484. It has been largely believed that Richard killed the two princes, but this belief has generated a lot of controversy in subsequent centuries. Some think Richard III had nothing to do with the disappearance of the princes, and quite a lot of energy has been expended in trying to prove Richard III innocent.
Bertram Fields contributed an essay to the anthology, The Folio Book of Historical Mysteries, published by the Folio Society in England. At the end of the first page of the essay, there is a footnote discussing the discovery of two small skeletons in the Tower of London, assumed to be those of Edward and Richard, and Charles II ordered them to be reburied in Westminster Abbey. Then in 1933, after "a more thorough investigation, it was agreed that they were the bones of Edward and his brother. However, subsequent scholars have cast doubt on this conclusion, and the Queen refuses to allow further investigations."
Now that's interesting to me. Greatly. You would think we'd want definitive answers about such a long-standing question. Why would Queen Elizabeth II refuse to allow any further investigations? My inquiring mind would like to know.